Disney+ May (Finally) Stop Censoring What We Watch
In what basically amounts to the intellectual property equivalent of moving back in with your folks following a bad break-up, Netflix’s Marvel shows have shifted off of their original streaming service and over to their parent company’s platform. Later this month, series like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and, yes, the dreaded Iron Fist are coming to Disney+, the same service that provides both The Mandalorian and free babysitting.
Which is, in some ways, very odd; the former Netflix shows are generally more violent and disturbing than their MCU counterparts that reside on Disney+; The Punisher is unsurprisingly full of gratuitous violence, and much of Jessica Jones is about dealing with the trauma of abuse.
Which wouldn’t be an issue except that Disney+ is notoriously puritanical when it comes to its content restrictions; they don’t allow any mature content, hence why Hamilton and Adventures in Babysitting were censored – and then there was the time visual effects wizardry was utilized in order to obscure Daryl Hannah’s butt crack with CGI mermaid hair. But now the same platform that spent actual American dollars purely to hide a brief shot of a woman showing her bare bum to Tom Hanks is okay with, say, dudes smashing each other's faces bloody using weights?
To make up for this apparent discrepancy, along with the new/old shows, Disney announced that they would be updating their parental controls, including an option that would encrypt profiles with a PIN. But Disney+ already had parental controls to some extent, which is what makes the whole thing so weird; why would Disney ever need to keep adult content from reaching adults?
Seemingly it all boils down to some amorphous Disney ethos; their streaming service had to be overly morally upstanding, in the same way that Disney theme parks don’t allow swearing or, for a long time, alcohol. But while cursing like a sailor in the Magic Kingdom is still frowned upon, they have relaxed their rules on alcohol consumption to the point where you can now get hammered on cocktails named after nonsense words George Lucas cobbled together in order to sell action figures 45 years ago.
Similarly, it seems like their streaming content rules are now wavering, allowing for these Marvel shows, and also more “adult-focused fare” like Black-ish and Jimmy Kimmel Live to go to Disney+ rather than Hulu. And while Disney shuffling programs between various streamers that they also happen to own may seem ultimately inconsequential, it does imply that the company is finally accepting that grown-ups watch Disney+ – and can make informed decisions about what content is appropriate for themselves and their families. This hopefully means that all those ‘80s comedies and Broadway musicals will get their F-bombs and butt cracks back.
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Top Image: Marvel Studios